A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (May 8/Ascension/Mothers' Day Sunday) - Athens First UMC

[This year's Mothers' Day coincided with Ascension Sunday, the day that we celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ to his heavenly throne. God's love is like a motherly love of protection, nurture, and guidance. This is the most powerful love there is!]

Lord Jesus, on this Ascension Sunday and this presidential election season, thank you for reminding us that you are the true ruler over all creation. The election that matters the most was when you died on the cross, rose to new life, and ascended into heaven. And we look forward to that time when you will come again to establish your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

On this day of celebrating your loving rule over all creation, we also lift up to you those who have given us life, those who have loved us, those who have blessed us, and those who have taught us, our mothers.

We praise you, O God, for your gift of motherly love, both gentle and fierce, both strong and humble, both kind and true. Where we have been so blessed, we give our grateful praise, for you have provided loving hands that have worked so hard in raising us, cared enough to correct us, blessed us in ways we cannot have fully known as children.

We call forth your compassion upon every mother who has unknowingly caused pain and suffering. And, so we lift to you our mothers, so imperfect, also so wounded by this world.

We bless our mothers this day, no matter what they have done or left undone. We do this because we believe in your healing, and we believe in your love and we believe that you love each mother; and we stand together with all mothers in solidarity, for we all are in need of your grace. Where we have failed because we did not know better, help us to forgive ourselves. Where we have seen your face in any woman who has been to us a mother, in her face we have seen your light and your love and we give thanks -- for where they have loved, they have kept your word and blessed us.

We lift to you the heart of every mother who has watched her child die of hunger, every mother who had been a victim of abuse, every woman who stands in protest against a world that massacres her children and renames them "collateral damage."

We lift to you the prayer of every mother who has ever loved and lost.

O God, thank you for your mother's heart; and although we cannot fully express our gratitude, help each one of us to be your blessing of love, a blessing straight from your heart. Thank you for being a loving mother toward us, like a mother hen who cares for her young. And on this holy day when we celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ to his heavenly throne, we long for that time when Christ will return and your motherly love and justice will completely fill this earth.

Just as a loving mother teaches her child to pray, teach us as your children to pray together, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

[Most of this prayer is from “Mother’s Day Prayer”, Copyright 2008, by Rev. Jane Sommers.]

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